The mission of the institute is to design and scientifically study materials for functionality, and its strength lies in focused, curiosity-driven, symbiotic studies of functional materials involving researchers from physics, chemistry, and biology. The main driving force is the desire to understand how things work at the microscopic level, also known as the molecular scale.

This is the realm of nanoscience and nanotechnology!

In this field, the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials covers the whole chain from synthesizing materials, building devices, characterizing materials and devices, and investigating the theoretical foundation of their properties.

Possibly our greatest asset is the close collaboration between people with different backgrounds. Physicists and chemists, and increasingly biologists, theoreticians, and experimentalists work closely together, giving the Institute a breadth rarely found elsewhere. In our efforts, we involve the whole chain of knowledge; modeling, design, synthesis, characterization, physical properties, theory, and device functionality.

Together with the “Stratingh Institute for Chemistry” and the “Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute” we run the Advanced Materials program, which was awarded the status of the national research center (NRC) for materials science by the Dutch government in 1999. This distinction came with considerable additional funding, which has allowed our program to develop a long-term vision and plan. After a thorough evaluation, our status as a national research center has been extended. The Zernike Institute NRC research program includes 40 faculty members, 80 researchers (permanent and temporary), 230 Ph.D. students, and 30 support staff.

The institute is a leading international research center and belongs to the Times Higher Education

Top 10 of the best materials research institutes in the world!

The Topmaster program in Nanoscience aims at interdisciplinary training in modern materials science, with a focus on nanoscale phenomena. The Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials is responsible for the program. Teachers and supervisors associated with the program represent the excellent research groups taking part in the research program of the Zernike Institute. The courses are taught by top international scientists, and a large part of the program consists of actually conducting high-level scientific research. Students are submitted to a challenging and highly demanding curriculum, combining both the broadness and depth necessary for a successful research career in modern materials science.

Participants come from all over the world!

     On nano, the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) again decided to extend the accreditation of the Top Master Programme in Nanoscience until 2026. The extension was based on the assessment in June 2018 by an international peer review committee, organized by QANU. On three standards (Intended learning outcomes, Teaching-learning environment, and Achieved learning outcomes) of the four standards that have to be assessed, the committee has awarded the Top Master Programme the highest possible distinction of “excellent”. The fourth standard Student Assessment was awarded ‘good’. The overall summary assessment is “excellent”.

Programme Staff


Moniek Tromp

Scientific Director of Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials and Chair of Materials Chemistry

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Caspar van der Wal

Full Professor - Physics of Nanodevices

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Petra Rudolf

Full Professor - Surfaces and Thin Films

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Jan Anton Koster

Associate Professor - Photophysics and Optoelectronics

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Tamalika Banerjee

Full Professor - Spintronics of Functional Materials

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    Contact information:

    Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials
    Top Master Nanoscience 2021 students

    Nijenborgh 49747 AG Groningen